On September 10, 2023, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong and President of the United States Joseph R. Biden Jr. (the “Leaders”) met and held talks in Hanoi, Vietnam. The two Leaders hailed a historic new phase of bilateral cooperation and friendship by elevating their nations’ relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for the purposes of peace, cooperation, and sustainable development. The United States supports a strong, independent, prosperous, and resilient Vietnam.
In the ten years since President Truong Tan Sang and President Barack Obama formed the Vietnam–U.S. Comprehensive Partnership, the two countries have made remarkable strides in increasing mutual understanding, building mutual trust, and strengthening cooperation across all areas of the Comprehensive Partnership. Under this new framework, the Leaders underscored the fundamental principles guiding Vietnam–U.S. relations, including respect for the United Nations Charter, international law, and respect for each other’s political system, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. Vietnam and the United States will continue to deepen cooperation in the following areas to ensure the interests of the people of both countries and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation, and prosperity in the region and in the world.
POLITICAL AND DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
The two Leaders underscored the need to continue deepening political and diplomatic relations, and will promote regular exchanges of delegations and engagements at all levels to strengthen mutual understanding and build and enhance political trust. The Leaders supported improving the effectiveness of current dialogue mechanisms and intend to establish an annual dialogue between Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Secretary of State. The Leaders pledged to further promote relations between the two countries’ political parties and legislative bodies, including by encouraging dialogue and discussion between these bodies on priorities and each country’s practical experiences. The two Leaders will direct their government agencies to cooperate and effectively implement the cooperation programs as determined by both countries. Both countries affirm to maintain favorable conditions to complete the construction of their diplomatic and consular facilities, and ensure both sides can efficiently staff those facilities in accordance with international conventions to which both countries are parties, bilateral agreements between Vietnam and the United States, and the respective laws of Vietnam and the United States.
ECONOMIC, TRADE, AND INVESTMENT COOPERATION
The two Leaders reaffirmed the importance of economic, trade, and investment cooperation and innovation-driven inclusive economic growth as the core foundations and sources of momentum in the bilateral relationship. Both sides pledged to create favorable conditions and facilitate the further opening of markets for each other’s goods and services, support trade and economic policy, and regulatory measures to achieve this aim; and to address issues such as market access barriers via the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. The United States applauds Vietnam’s progress in significant market-based economic reforms, and affirms its enthusiasm and commitment for a broad, strengthened, supportive, and constructive engagement with Vietnam in its transition to a market economy, and subsequently to market economy country status, under U.S. law. The United States noted Vietnam officially requested the review of its market economy status on September 8, 2023. The United States will review Vietnam’s request as expeditiously as possible, in accordance with U.S. law. The United States appreciates Vietnam’s ongoing efforts to further modernize and enhance the transparency of its monetary policy and exchange rate management framework, to promote macroeconomic stability, and to ensure the safety and soundness of the banking system.
The Leaders will continue strengthening a non-discriminatory, open, fair, inclusive, equitable, transparent and rules-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its core. Both sides applauded the progress thus far and look forward to additional substantial progress in the near future under the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF), which will deliver concrete benefits to the economies, workers, families, and businesses of the two countries and the region.
The Leaders acknowledged the importance of respect for internationally recognized labor rights based on the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Furthermore, the Leaders intend to accelerate cooperation on strengthening intellectual property rights and aviation, including through negotiations to amend the U.S.-Vietnam Air Transport Agreement under Open Skies principles.
The United States pledged further support for Vietnam in manufacturing, high quality digital and physical infrastructure development, just energy transition, sustainable and smart agriculture, and broader and sustained participation in regional and global supply chains, with a particular emphasis on Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region. To that end, the U.S. International Development Financial Corporation (DFC) intends to continue to finance private sector projects in Vietnam’s infrastructure, climate and energy efficiency, healthcare, and small business sectors, including climate-focused and women-owned enterprises.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION, AND DIGITAL COOPERATION
Vietnam and the United States decided to strengthen science, technology, and digital innovation cooperation, regarding this as a new breakthrough of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The United States affirmed its commitment to increasing support for Vietnam in the training and development of a high-tech workforce. Acknowledging Vietnam’s tremendous potential as a major player in the semiconductor industry, the two Leaders pledged to support the rapid development of Vietnam’s semiconductor ecosystem and to work together energetically to improve Vietnam’s position in the global semiconductor supply chain. Toward this end, the United States and Vietnam announced the launch of semiconductor workforce development initiatives – supported by initial seed funding of $2 million from the U.S. government, in conjunction with future Vietnamese government and private sector support.
Vietnam and the United States pledged to comprehensively cooperate in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.
The two Leaders applauded the promotion of secure and reliable digital infrastructure in Vietnam, affirming its potential to provide new opportunities for digital capability enhancement to Vietnamese innovators to expand the growth of Vietnam’s digital economy. These efforts will aim to include support for open and interoperable network architectures including through exploring the launch of an Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN training lab) in Vietnam, secure 5G, and adoption of emerging technologies to prove new digital upskilling opportunities to Vietnamese innovators, subject to congressional notification.
The Leaders underscored the importance of continued collaboration between leading academic institutions in the United States and Vietnam, including through joint research initiatives, training courses, fellowships, and exchange programs focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING COOPERATION
The United States announced concrete plans to assist Vietnam in training a high-quality workforce, contributing to the achievement of Vietnam’s future development goals. The United States welcomes the nearly 30,000 Vietnamese students studying in the United States and will encourage American educational institutions to accept a greater number of Vietnamese students. The two Leaders offered congratulations on the launch of Peace Corps operations in Vietnam and the 31st anniversary of the Fulbright Vietnam program. They applauded the work of Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) and its growing role as a regional hub for public policy training, recognizing the vital importance of investing in human capital as a critical resource for future prosperity, security, stability, and development.
The United States and Vietnam recognized that enduring prosperity can only be achieved if our people have ample opportunities to learn new skills, exchange ideas, and gain international experience and understanding. Accordingly, the United States and Vietnam will encourage the opening of the doors to their universities and laboratories in order to share best practices, scientific advances, and educational opportunities with each other, with a focus on supporting increasing numbers of Vietnamese students, teachers, scholars, and researchers participating in training and educational programs in the United States. Vietnam also welcomes the increasing number of U.S. students, scholars, and professors who are studying, researching, and teaching in Vietnamese higher-education institutions, and encourages U.S. universities to build partnerships with Vietnamese higher education institutions, to include opening campuses in Vietnam.
CLIMATE, ENERGY, ENVIRONMENT, AND HEALTH COOPERATION
The United States and Vietnam will coordinate: in the Mekong and Red River Deltas; multi-sector adaptation to climate change; pollution reduction, and voluntary technical assistance for modernized transmission infrastructure, renewable energy integration, climate market development, energy storage solutions, and the improvement of regulatory framework to enable a speedy and just energy transition. The Leaders recognized the importance of working together, and with experts outside of government, to advance low-emissions, climate-resilient agriculture, biodiversity conservation, pollution reduction, and the resilience of vulnerable communities, including through disaster preparedness efforts. The United States supports Vietnam’s efforts to increase clean energy production.
President Biden applauded Vietnam’s climate commitments under its Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), as well as Vietnam’s 2050 net zero greenhouse emissions target. General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong welcomed the U.S. contribution to mobilizing public and private financing for Vietnam’s JETP and cooperation with the international community to ensure its successful implementation while ensuring national energy sovereignty, security and affordability. The United States committed to assisting Vietnam with both finance and advanced climate technology to fulfill its international climate commitments. Vietnam welcomes projects funded by international financial institutions, including the World Bank, in the areas of climate change response, energy transition, green growth, and renewable energy infrastructure.
The two sides commended 25 years of the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) in Vietnam and welcomed the 2021 establishment of the U.S. CDC’s Regional Office in Hanoi, as well as Vietnam’s commitment to develop a Vietnam National CDC. The Leaders acknowledge the contributions of U.S. Vietnam cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and affirm to expand health security collaboration by working together on pandemic prevention, detection, and response, and other global disease threats. The Leaders affirmed the importance of cooperation on addressing disease threats at the human-animal interface, maintaining progress on immunization coverage, and supporting public health functions, such as laboratory science and One Health workforce training. The United States affirmed its support for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis prevention and control programs, including through assisting Vietnam’s critical medical facilities, such as Bach Mai and Cho Ray hospitals, with an aim to achieve fully sustainable epidemic control of HIV and put an end to the tuberculosis epidemic by 2030, in line with Vietnam’s global commitments and national plans. The United States supports Vietnam’s efforts to expand its domestic pharmaceutical sector as part of global health security cooperation; and in this regard, expresses willingness to strengthen cooperation to increase compatibility of regulatory frameworks so that Vietnam can play an active role in regional and international medical supply chains.
ADDRESSING WAR LEGACIES
The Leaders commended close cooperation between the two countries to overcome the consequences of war, regarding this as a priority in bilateral relations that contributes to the building of mutual trust and understanding.
The United States and Vietnam affirmed a commitment to completion of dioxin remediation at Bien Hoa Airport, expanding unexploded ordnance removal efforts, expanding support for persons with disabilities, regardless of cause, assisting in capacity building for the Vietnam National Mine Action Center, including integrating Provincial and National efforts on mine action, and maintaining support for Vietnam in accounting for Vietnamese missing and fallen soldiers from the war, including further supporting its DNA analysis capability.
President Biden extended the gratitude of the American people for Vietnam’s enduring support for the accounting of and seeking remains of American personnel missing in action. Vietnam affirmed to continue full cooperation in search of American missing personnel.
CULTURE, PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TIES, SPORTS, AND TOURISM
The Leaders applauded the robust growth of people-to-people exchanges and will work together to promote two-way tourism, business cooperation, professional and academic exchanges, and study opportunities. Both sides intend to seek to increase cooperation between states in the United States and provinces in Vietnam in a substantive and effective manner, with concrete projects and programs; to strengthen ties among different communities, sectors, businesses, youth, and people’s organizations of the two countries via exchanges of delegations, joint conferences and cultural exchanges in arts, music, and sport; and to collaborate in organizing activities on the anniversaries of bilateral relations.
The two Leaders appreciated the substantial contribution of the Vietnamese community in the United States to the development of bilateral relations. President Biden firmly recognized the Vietnamese-American community as among the most successful, dynamic, and innovative in the United States.
DEFENSE AND SECURITY
President Biden congratulated Vietnam on its important contributions to global peace and stability, including Vietnam’s participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations, as well as for providing search and rescue and disaster response capabilities to address natural disasters in the world. Both sides intend to continue utilizing the established dialogue and consultation mechanisms between the U.S. Department of Defense and Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense, as well as between other agencies and ministries, and to cooperate effectively in humanitarian and constructive efforts such as addressing war legacies, military medicine, United Nations peacekeeping operations, maritime law enforcement and maritime security capacity, and other areas of mutual interest, in line with existing agreements and understandings between Leaders of both countries and their agencies.
Both sides underscored the importance of strengthening cooperation between law enforcement and criminal justice agencies; decided to deepen ongoing cooperation on law enforcement and security intelligence; collaborate and exchange information and experiences to increase the effectiveness of maritime cooperation and efforts to counter transnational crimes, piracy, money laundering, human trafficking, illegal trafficking of narcotics and precursor chemicals, cybercrime, and high-tech crime. The Leaders decided to establish a Law Enforcement and Security Dialogue track between relevant law enforcement, security, and intelligence agencies. Both countries condemn terrorism and violent extremism in all of its forms and pledge to work together to counter terrorism and terrorist financing in accordance with the UN Charter and other relevant international agreements to which both are Parties.
The Leaders welcome further cooperation in defense industry and defense trade in accordance with each side’s conditions, through mutually agreed mechanisms. The United State is committed to continuing to assist Vietnam to develop its self-reliant defense capabilities in accordance with the needs of Vietnam and established mechanisms.
PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
The Leaders affirmed the importance of promoting and protecting human rights in accordance with each country’s constitution and international obligations. Both countries pledged continued support for the promotion and protection of human rights, including through frank and constructive dialogues such as the annual Vietnam – U.S. Human Rights Dialogue and Vietnam – U.S. Labor Dialogue, to strengthen mutual understandings and narrow differences. They encouraged further cooperation to ensure that everyone, including members of vulnerable groups, regardless of their gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation, and including persons with disabilities, fully enjoy their human rights. The United States and Vietnam noted human rights, regional stability, global peace, and sustainable development are mutually reinforcing. Both sides recognized the contributions that social and religious organizations continue to make in such fields as education, health care, and social services in both countries.
COORDINATION ON REGIONAL AND GLOBAL ISSUES
Both nations intend to enhance coordination on regional and global issues of mutual concern and interest, contributing to the joint efforts to maintain peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and throughout the word. Both sides pledged to enhance coordination and collaboration in regional and international fora such as the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus), as well as the broad range of ASEAN-related sectoral Ministerial meetings. The two sides supported the promotion of multilateralism, respect for international law, including the United Nations Charter, and the promotion of an open, inclusive regional architecture in which ASEAN plays a central role. Vietnam appreciates the United States’ strong support for ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong welcomed the United States’ renewed commitment to ASEAN, as reflected in the newly established ASEAN-U.S Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the 2022 ASEAN-U.S Special Summit in Washington, D.C. President Biden highly valued ASEAN’s achievements and reiterated the United States’ respect for ASEAN centrality. The Leaders also applauded Indonesia’s 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship and welcomed Lao PDR’s assumption of the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2024. General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong welcomed the United States’ role as the host of this year’s APEC forum. President Biden looks forward to welcoming President Vo Van Thuong to San Francisco for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in November.
The Leaders underscored their unwavering support for the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, without the threat or use of force, as well as freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded lawful commerce in the South China Sea, respect for sovereignty, and for sovereign rights and jurisdiction of coastal states over their exclusive economic zones and continental shelves in accordance with the international law of the sea as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Leaders recognized the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in its entirety, and reaffirmed their support for ASEAN efforts to conclude an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, one that is in accordance with international law, including the1982 UNCLOS and does not prejudice the rights of any state under international law.
The two Leaders underscored the critical importance of the Mekong sub-region in maintaining stability, peace, prosperity, cooperation, and sustainable development. Transboundary cooperation and sustainable development are crucial as the two countries jointly address new challenges and opportunities including food security and sustainable water management, supporting communities and their livelihoods, promoting economic connectivity, tackling non-traditional security issues, and working to provide opportunities for human resource development. Both sides welcomed the Mekong – U.S. Partnership and other Mekong-centered mechanisms such as the Mekong River Commission and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS). The Leaders committed to working closely with other Mekong countries toward expanded collaboration within this framework, as well as in the Friends of the Mekong.
The Leaders stressed the importance of the full implementation of the ASEAN Five Point Consensus and echo ASEAN’s calls for the immediate cessation of violence and de-escalation among all concerned parties in Myanmar in order to create conducive environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and inclusive national dialogue.
Both Leaders discussed other regional and international issues of mutual concern and underscored the importance of the peaceful resolution of all disputes in accordance with the United Nations Charter, seeking to ensure people’s safety and the protection of infrastructure critical to their livings.
The United States and Vietnam reaffirmed support for the establishment of a durable peace on and the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and urged all parties concerned to fully and strictly fulfill their international obligations and commitments, including under relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
On Ukraine, the two leaders emphasized the need for establishing a comprehensive, just, and durable peace in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.
Since normalization of bilateral relations in 1995, the Vietnam-U.S. relationship has flourished vigorously and fruitfully, growing both in depth and substance. This new chapter will bring our partnership to new heights. Together, we will realize the aspirations of the people of our countries for a bright and dynamic future that contributes to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation and development across a crucial region and the world at large.